Saturday, May 15, 2021
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Why Africans are easily overcome by other Cultures?

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By: Son Gyoh -Development practitioner

I was first confronted with this question about two years ago, when a friend and I would occasionally engage in deep self reflection on issues within African communities. On that occasion, we tried to compare Africans with other Diaspora communities as the Asians and Arabs for example.

We noticed that these other cultures seem to hold their values strongly, even when aspects of their traditions have been weakened or adapted to ways of the dominant society. We also reasoned that while there is a thin line between culture and tradition, the latter could be shared across diverse peoples and is more about custom, a way of ‘doing things’. We also figured that culture is built on deeply enshrined value systems shared by a community with a common heritage. So, while Africans may share similar traditions/customs, our cultures could be uniquely different.

But what concerned us more was why many Africans not only take pride in assimilating foreign value systems and attitudes, but see the negation of their cultural values as a form of progression or ‘civilisation’. This is common with us in varying but significant proportion, regardless our diversity. For example, we are more likely to openly say to others how our children detest African food or cloths. We condone our kids not greeting, (something very basic and unique to Africans) to the extent that we have even lost ‘thank you’ manners which European kids still have. We willingly and easily attribute insolence to elders as a sign of liberation or civilisation, much more than the Asians or Arabs (including African Arabs) would.

Worst still, rather than make others copy us, we detach our values and copy others consistently, forgetting that we may have something positive to offer other communities. Quite often our new counterfeit values leave us worse off without an identity and worst still; this loss of values is allowed to take over our kids and communities here in Diaspora.

This whole issue of our cultural resilience confronted me yet again as I journey on a Galway bound train from Dublin last week. I had the misfortune of sitting next to two teenage school girls (15/16 years) I guess were originally from Nigeria. The girls were in the company of an Irish girl friend, who appeared a little overwhelmed by the antics of her two friends. The two black girls were talking loud and dirty on and off the phone as well as playing loud music, one with her feet on the spotless seats, was discussing sex on the phone and the other could not complete one sentence without using the ‘F’ word.

I had to bury my head in my reading material as a young Irish lady sitting opposite me tried to read me. I wondered what she might be thinking if she was encountering African teenage girls for the first time. I also wondered why our kids get easily taken by this nasty habit of smooching in bus stops and public transport without the feel for caution, are our youths becoming more ‘European than the Europeans’? It’s not every day you see an Indian, Arab or even the Orientals do that and the reason is the resilience of their value systems and its relevance wherever they find themselves.

How come our wives are the first to threaten their husbands with eviction and why are the husbands coveting people’s wives (vice versa) and having children indiscriminately? Yet, I could not help but wonder the influence of our intrusive style of fellowship, as these kids worship with their parents each Sunday. Do we spend more time vilifying unseen enemies and plotting our prosperity to provide our kids with basic cultural values? Is our ease of cultural capture down to the need to connect with the western black culture, which we consider more mainstream?

But even then, black Americans have evolved a code of decency among its less dysfunctional and more educated community. Isn’t it time we uphold our culture and sell to others some of its positive values which include; extended family values, empowerment of adults to guide the youths, perseverance in adversity, revere and care for the elderly, brother’s keeper, community values above institution, the sanctity of life that reduce murders and suicide, marriage as union of families than individuals and a strict sex codes. But we need to first reclaim the spirit of common good and the lost virtue of dignity over vanity.

Self Drive is the Best Way to Vacation in Uganda

Self drive safari in Uganda

Traveling through Uganda by yourself can be an incredible experience full of fun as you go through the countryside of the pearl of Africa on your own. This is a country that holds some of the least inhabited and most romanticized locations in traveler knowledge; Kidepo Valley with the vast population of spectacular wildlife, Murchison Falls national park which has the strongest waterfalls in the world, the Source of the world’s longest river(Nile) in Jinja and Bwindi Forest National Park, home to more than half of World’s Mountain Gorillas.

Here are seven reasons why self-drive Uganda si the best raw wilderness experience you have always wanted.

There’s endless freedom

Your worldly possessions are on the back seat. Your home now becomes a tent folded onto the roof rack. There aren’t any other human beings for miles and your world is packed up in your vehicle. But look beyond your confines and a vast open plain swells out to the horizon in front of you, dotted with herds of wildlife and birds. It’s all yours to explore.

Discover it all on your own terms

How many times have you driven past a remarkable viewing on the side road and you can’t stop because you’re trapped on a bus driving at a terrible speed along its set route? Self-driving in Uganda gives means no more submitting to others’ itineraries or missing that fantastic photo opportunity. Your itinerary is entirely very flexible, opening up experiences you may never have had on a tour.

You don’t have to go far for adventure

When on self-drive, you don’t have to enter a national park to have a good chance of spotting wildlife. Explore Queen Elizabeth and other national parks with abundant wildlife including, herds of elephants, buffalo, antelopes, and the astonishing tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector is surely one of the most mind-bending travel experiences.

Even the campsites are stunning

Camping in Uganda makes for some exciting nights in your tent into a cramped corner or tripping over guy ropes in the middle of the night, the campsites here are somewhat more remote. Most of Uganda’s National parks have gazetted places for camping sometimes in the middle of the bush, near the lake/river.

The wildlife watching is easy

Uganda is one of the few countries in Africa where you can safari solo. Self-driving in Murchison falls or Queen Elizabeth National Park is a unique opportunity to encounter colossal quantities of animals without the services of a guide. Get up early, get into your safari vehicle and follow the trail. The animals will gradually appear from the surrounding plains and give you a window into their lives.

CONCLUSION

The beauty of such an incredible can fully be explored on a self-drive where you have the freedom to break and stop at any point you find so attractive. The freedom to drive deep to the countryside of this great country in one trip wouldn’t require you to own a car that you would lease shortly after the trip.

 

Renting One-Way Car For Your Uganda Road Trip

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Car Rental

If you have ever found yourself stranded after flight cancellation but unfortunately, you didn’t have an option then let it be the last time you experience it. A one-way car rental offers ideal option for persons whose flights have been cancelled or if you would like to go cross-country to spend your holiday. Here are some tips on how you can rent a one-way car for your next Uganda road trip.

Check through prices & compare

Finding a one-way car rental in Uganda can be easier as it is a case with other round-trip car hire. However, checking through various one-way car rental companies’ website on what rates each offers can help you make comparisons. As a result, you can find the best one-way car rental deal with better offers. At the back of your mind, you should take note that each one-way car hire company has its own set rates.

Avoid hiring from the airport

Renting a one-way car at the airport can be a convenient option to others but if your budget doesn’t allow, then the best is to deal with outside car rental companies. Most car rentals at the airport are hired out at higher rates yet when you get out of the airport, there are many car rental companies offering the most affordable rates. What is essential is ensure that you are flexible-take a walk a few meters away from the airport.

The car rental services at the airport tend to be expensive because of extra fees the companies do pay. Its those bills or extra fees they pay to the airport authorities that tend to hike the total amount one pays when hiring their cars.

Take note of extra fees/hidden charges

Getting excited for a good daily rate is one thing and bumping into extra/hidden fees is another significant factor you need to sort out before. Ask your one-car rental agency if their hidden charges so as not to be taken by surprise when presented with final rate higher than your expectations. Some car rental companies tend not to disclose such charges till you make booking but this can be avoided if you inquired.

You can’t find one-way car rentals everywhere

If you are interested in one-way rental cars, bear in mind that not every big car rental agency/company you know in town or city with so many branches do offer one-way car hire services in all those branches. One office may not be offering one-way trip yet another one very close does provide.

African Countries receive over 26M COVID-19 vaccine doses

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Covid 19 Vaccines from Covax

African countries have received over 26 million COVID-19 vaccines both from the COVAX facility and through bilateral agreements outside the COVAX facility. This information has been released by the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

The Africa CDC reported late Friday that some 28 African Union members have received their consignment of COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX facility, accounting about 16,245,560 doses.

From the the reported 16 million doses that have been received a total of about 7,272,148 doses have already been administered.

In addition to the COVID-19 vaccines obtained from the COVAX facility, some 18 African countries have received COVID-19 vaccines outside the COVAX facility through bilateral agreements, accounting for about 10,034,220 doses, it was noted.

According to the agency, additional nine African countries had received their vaccine consignments, totaling about 723,000, from MTN as part of its 25 million U.S. dollars donation to support the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team’s (AVATT) efforts.

Palm Sunday bombing at cathedral in Indonesia injures Catholics leaving Mass

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Palm Sunday Bombing

A suspected suicide bomb attack targeted Catholics leaving a cathedral after Palm Sunday Mass on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. The bombing happened at the cathedral’s side entrance.

The explosion occurred March 28 outside Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral in Makassar, capital of South Sulawesi province, as church-goers were exiting the cathedral at the start of Holy Week.

Initial reports said that at least 10 worshipers were injured by the blast at the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Makassar.

Fr. Wilhelmus Tulak, who celebrated the Mass, said that the explosion occurred at around 10:30 a.m. local time.

The priest explained that a suspected bomber, who arrived on a motorbike, tried to enter the cathedral but was turned away by security guards. Other reports suggested that there were two perpetrators.

The Associated Press reported that it had obtained a cellular video showing body parts near a burning motorbike at the cathedral gates.

Makassar is the fifth-largest urban center in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.

A family of suicide bombers attacked three churches, including the Church of St. Mary Immaculate, in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city, in May 2018.

Family Loses 5 Members at Magufuli Farewell

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Magufuli Funeral

A family in Dar es Salaam is mourning the death of its five members who were killed in a stampede that erupted at Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam during the paying of last respects to President John Magufuli.

Several people collapsed, with reports showing that several others died in the chaos that erupted as some mourners braved security advice and forced their way into the stadium to pay their last respects.

It was in that process that the Mtuwa’s family from Kimara Mwisho in Dar es Salaam ended up registering its biggest loss when five of its members got killed in the process.

The five are Chris (11), Michael (8), Nathan (6), Natalia (5) and Suzan Ndana Mtua in her 30s.

Mtuwa’s eldest son, Gerald Mtuwa said Suzan was his sister-in-law who left one kid and a husband, Denis Mtuwa.

“Suzan and my younger brother Denis have three kids, but two of them (Nathan and Natalia) died during yesterday’s chaos,” he told The Citizen at the family’s home in Dar es Salaam.

Apart from the father, the family is now survived with a two-year child whose name and sex he did not mention.

The other two who died in the chaos (Michael and Chris) are the children of Gerald Mtuwa’s young brothers who live together in same the compound.

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda, Rwanda & Congo: Where to Go in 2021

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Gorilla Trek

In Uganda and DRC, Gorilla trekking is ranked number one tourist activity. The activity on their other hand is the most expensive at US$700 in Uganda, US$1500 in Rwanda and US$400 in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). For that case, gorilla trekking earns the country a lot of foreign exchange since majority of the trekkers are foreigners.

In both countries, gorilla trekking is a daily activity (basing on the availability). Starting in the morning, the end time for gorilla trekking is still un predictable. The time taken while searching for gorillas in their natural habitat is determined by the movement of Gorillas.

In DRC, gorilla trekking is done in Virunga National Park (Mountain Gorillas) and Kahuzi- Biega National Park (Low Land Gorillas). Of the two species, mountain Gorillas are highly demanded than lowland gorillas. In Uganda, gorilla trekking is done in Mgahinga National park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which are situated in western Uganda.

In Rwanda, gorilla trekking is done in Volcanoes National Park situated in northern region. The park offers the most expensive Gorilla trekking permit at US$1500. Guests on tight schedule find it easier to go on a gorilla trek in Rwanda than in Uganda and DRC. It’s 7-9hrs drive from Entebbe to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National park.  It’s 2hrs drive from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park and 1hr drive from Goma city to Virunga National Park.

What You need to Know before you Go Gorilla Trekking in Uganda and DRC

Know the level of fitness needed for a gorilla trekking safari. Study the terrain of the area you are hoping to trek from and practice hiking accordingly. Trek Gorillas in mountainous areas is more challenging than slightly gentle land.

You need to know the amount of Gorilla trekking. In Uganda, the cost is US$700 and US$400 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Compare the prices and choose where to trek from basing on your budget, schedule and interest. The Democratic Republic of Congo offers cheaper gorilla pass but has no direct flights to outside world like Europe, Asia, Australia etc.

Study about the current political atmosphere of any country you want to visit. Sometimes DRC experiences seasonal attacks which puts Gorilla tourism on stans still.

Know the local tour operators to deal with. You need advance contact to local tour operator to help organize your trip on the ground. They will guide you on when? Why? Where? And what?

Things to do on the day of Gorilla trekking

Ensure that you booked your gorilla permits in advance (2-3 months) before the actual date. If yes, carry all your receipts and Gorilla permits.

Be at the briefing point by 7:30am to prepare for the actual gorilla trekking exercise. Its wise to stay the previous night near the park to catch time. At the park headquarters, is where the briefing points are and the ranger guides take you through the briefing exercise for 30 minutes. During tracking, you will be equipped with Dos and Don’ts while on actual tracking.

After briefing, join groups and walk in the forests to search for Gorillas. The time taken while in the forest looking for Gorillas is determined by the movement of the Gorillas. Sometimes the duration is between 3-5hrs but occasionally takes a full day.

If you have a heavy luggage, hire a porter to help you carry your bags to and from the forest. The porters are readily available at the park headquarters. For weak, sick and old people, you can hire four porters to carry you on a stretcher.

Keep rules and regulations governing Gorilla trekking to avoid arm from Gorillas. Trekkers are expected to keep silent near the gorillas, do away with flash cameras, when gorillas charge please leave them, avoid damping in the forest and maintain a distance of 7 meters between you and Gorillas etc.

When you meet Gorillas, feel free to take photos/ films for remembrance. Stay for 1hr and thereafter, walk back to your respective accommodation.

After Gorilla trekking

  • After Gorilla trekking, the participants are given certificates of completion.
  • Guests go back to their respective accommodation to have lunch and refresh
  • Some visitors decide to proceed to their next destination basing on their itinerary
  • Tourists can decide to do afternoon activities like cultural tours, village walks, nature walks etc

Rwanda Uganda Border Closure Impacts Tourism

Katuna Border

The Rwanda- Uganda border crossing closure started way back in early 2019 with Rwanda citing insecurity and safety breach for its citizens who travel to Uganda. This issue that many thought to be simple turned out to be one of the serious diplomatic issues between two former friendly neighbors whose love has gone sour.

Both countries have traded accusations of interference in each other’s affairs. Such allegations were though to cause political instabilities in a near future. The Uganda- Rwanda relationship deteriorated when Uganda arrested some Rwandans who it claimed to be spies for the land of a thousand hills. Such dark moments forced President Kagame of Rwanda to order for the closure of the border for citizens of both countries. However tourists were freely allowed to roam both countries without any restriction.

A strong warning (taken as a travel advisory) was passed to Rwanda citizens not to go to Uganda though some few Ugandans and cargo trucks were allowed to cross. Due to scarcity, some Rwanda citizens used to sneak to Uganda through illegal pathways to buy basic needs like food, medicine and so on.

When COVID-19 pandemic reached Uganda and Rwanda, it was mandatory for each country to close its borders completely to prevent the spread to the Virus. Both countries did close their borders but Rwanda did not ease the travel restrictions until today, no cargo and human being is allowed to cross via borders apart from Kigali international Airport.

As a travel writer, I cannot tell when the border will be open but the effects of border closure are many and increasing. Both countries and citizens are affected socially, Politically, Financially and Educationally among others.

Below are some of the effects:

Uganda and Rwanda governments have lost revenue from trade. According to the latest World Bank Data from 2017, Rwanda was Uganda’s fifth biggest export market, selling about $180m worth of goods. Rwanda meanwhile exported $10m worth to Uganda.

For more information, Citizens of both countries have greatly lost as their businesses are struggling. Sales from businesses around border posts are declining which has stimulated high rate of un employment.

Smuggling is increasing because some people sneak in either country through illegal pathways with their commodities for sale. In the process, many items enter the markets un taxed making countries lose much revenue. There is a worry that harmful products may start entering countries.

illegal border crossing is the order of the day as citizens are trying to look for greener pastures in another country. Rwanda citizens feel suffocated because many used to take their children to Uganda and sometimes could cross to obtain basic needs from Uganda side.

Many tour operators are crying, saying that their business is sinking because some tourists book Uganda trips by prefer flying to Kigali and then cross.  It becomes hectic for tour operators to organize trips that crosses borders. Rwanda has been the main gateway for tourists looking for gorilla safaris in Uganda since it takes just as few as 6 hours to travel from Kigali to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. With many travelers who have booked trips that depart Kigali, travelers have been forced to change their flights to Entebbe so that they can be able to proceed with their trips.

Many people have lost jobs especially drivers, tour guides, porters, traders among others. Such people used to access each country to do business which is no longer happening.

Other neighboring countries like Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are affected in terms of trade. Some commodities from Kenya reached Burundi and DRC through Uganda which is no longer the case. Today, such nations incur more costs of transporting goods through far and distant routes instead.

Loss of diplomatic relationship between Uganda’s president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame.  According to the agreement set by East African Community, they allowed from movement and trade within member countries.

-Security is tight among the two countries. Rwanda has on several occasions shoot at individuals who have dared cross the border. Some have lost life and Rwanda has termed many of the culprits as smugglers!

-Reduced spread of diseases especially COVID-19

The restrictions on the border movements have reduced the spread of the Covid-19 Virus. Today Rwanda is among the best countries that have controlled the spread of the novel pandemic on the African continent. It should be noted that the country has also embarked on vaccinating its citizens and it is among the first African countries to start this campaign.

 

How Car Rental in Uganda Can Turn You Into Pro Traveler

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Car Rental

Whereas most travelers take a holiday simply for chilling and relaxation, it is of no doubt that others also opt to explore and discover what a destination holds for the world. Depending on your travel interests are for the coming holiday, renting a car in Uganda is exceptionally the best way for you to realize your dreams in this spectacular destination. We offer widest range of car rentals and clients won’t lack a choice and all are suited within your budget and travel needs. Our fleets range from safari cars, corporate car rentals to bridal cars. Hiring one simply allows you to sit back and you enjoy the ride as our professional driver guide takes you through distinct tourist sites that Uganda offers to the world. Uganda is described as the pearl of Africa, meaning travelers have all that Africa offers to the world. Whether you are interested in guided safaris or self drive tours, your travel needs are all covered with our luxurious and comfortable car rentals.

Below are some of the ways that you can really enjoy your ride in Uganda

Get off the beaten track

Depending on public mode of transportation means that you can only navigate through paths where buses or matatus can reach. And given that most of Uganda’s remotest protected areas aren’t reached by most of the buses or even taxis, renting a safari car can be the best option for you to navigate through the remotest areas even when it is a wet season when most of these routes tend to be muddy and hence making it very challenging for visitors to achieve their dreams in Africa. Hiring a car with us offers you amazing opportunity to realize that long term dream. We arrange guided tours, self drive adventures and many more depending on what you are interested.

When it comes to safaris, getting lost of part of it and it is one way for you adventure new destinations. The only challenge can come in you have set off for longer distance and you are on a hurry to drive back to the hotel. However, with our safari cars which come with GPS, there is no need to get worried but rather enjoy your ride Comfortability while locating the places that you have reached to.

Come along with your picnic, given that not all areas that you will reach will be offering lunch, packing a picnic lunch ideally plays a big role while you are on road trip to any destination in Uganda. You can grab some local products and come with them in your car and you will be sorted at the end of the day. The trip can be enjoyable but not at all times, you can feel hungry and the whole journey you spend while yarning.

Taking photographs isn’t a crime but rather it is part of your journey. Meaning it is not costly for you to pack your camera and shoot your pictures at your own pace. It hurts when you land into the species of your interest and you have no camera but rather you become spectator as others are busy taking them. First it won’t be an interesting trip and you won’t have any evidence to show your friends or family members back home that you were for a vacation to Uganda’s national park say Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park or Mgahinga National Park for mountain gorilla trekking.

Time management is a very important factor when it comes to travel. Your time in the destination can be minimal but make sure that you are patient enough as this will come with amazing views of wildlife species that you may have interest in. To be on safer side, make sure that you report to tourist site of your interest as earlier as possible to avoid doing things on a hurry.

Observe the travel tips

Interacting with local residents is ideally one of the perfect things to do when it comes to safaris in any destination. This means that you have to observe the tips other visitors can provide you. You realize that most of them have been to this destination some years back and they have prior knowledge and ideas that of value to you too. Make sure that you are flexile enough for any changes in your itinerary and take time to search for amazing adventures. Things can be better especially when you embark on safari using your ride or rather self drive which allows you do lots of things along way and at within your own pace.

Be spontaneous, if you have always been in fixed travel itineraries and you were able to view a few attractions, it is a high time you explored lots of attractions that Uganda offers to the world travelers. Hiring one of our 4wheel drive cars is the best way for you to realize you dreams. Embark on self drive adventure and have the most flexible and comfortable trip in your life with one of our perfect self drive fleets.

In conclusion, to gain more while on Uganda road trip you will need hire that comfortable and luxurious car that meets your travel demands and you won’t regret spending a vacation in Uganda.

Virunga National Park Announces 1st Gorilla Birth of Year

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GOMA, DR Congo —

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park has announced the birth of a male gorilla, the first baby this year. The park authorities announced this great news to the world. The mountain gorillas have been instrumental in raising the awareness about threatened mountain gorillas, great apes that are only found in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The park said that this is the first baby born to 10 year-old Bazirushaka and is the 12th member of the Lulengo family. The newborn was discovered by rangers on Thursday during a routine check in the park.

The Virunga National Park is home to some of the world’s last mountain gorillas whose population now stands at more than 1,000. There were 17 gorilla births in the park last year, it said.

The announcement comes about a month after the park said that gunmen shot and killed at least six rangers in the park in Nyamitwitwi, located in the Rutshuru area.

More than 200 rangers have been killed since Virunga became a national park in 1925, officials say.

Latest News

Why Africans are easily overcome by other Cultures?

0
By: Son Gyoh -Development practitioner I was first confronted with this question about two years ago, when a friend and I would occasionally engage in...
Self drive safari in Uganda

Self Drive is the Best Way to Vacation in Uganda

0
Traveling through Uganda by yourself can be an incredible experience full of fun as you go through the countryside of the pearl of Africa...
Car Rental

Renting One-Way Car For Your Uganda Road Trip

0
If you have ever found yourself stranded after flight cancellation but unfortunately, you didn’t have an option then let it be the last time...
Covid 19 Vaccines from Covax

African Countries receive over 26M COVID-19 vaccine doses

0
African countries have received over 26 million COVID-19 vaccines both from the COVAX facility and through bilateral agreements outside the COVAX facility. This information...
Palm Sunday Bombing

Palm Sunday bombing at cathedral in Indonesia injures Catholics leaving Mass

0
A suspected suicide bomb attack targeted Catholics leaving a cathedral after Palm Sunday Mass on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. The bombing happened at...
Magufuli Funeral

Family Loses 5 Members at Magufuli Farewell

0
A family in Dar es Salaam is mourning the death of its five members who were killed in a stampede that erupted at Uhuru...
Gorilla Trek

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda, Rwanda & Congo: Where to Go in 2021

0
In Uganda and DRC, Gorilla trekking is ranked number one tourist activity. The activity on their other hand is the most expensive at US$700...
Katuna Border

Rwanda Uganda Border Closure Impacts Tourism

0
The Rwanda- Uganda border crossing closure started way back in early 2019 with Rwanda citing insecurity and safety breach for its citizens who travel...
Car Rental

How Car Rental in Uganda Can Turn You Into Pro Traveler

0
Whereas most travelers take a holiday simply for chilling and relaxation, it is of no doubt that others also opt to explore and discover...

Virunga National Park Announces 1st Gorilla Birth of Year

0
GOMA, DR Congo — The Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park has announced the birth of a male gorilla, the first baby this year....